Braeden Moskowy and his Regina rink spent 13 hours driving to the GP Car and Home Players' Championship, but they're certainly glad they made the trek.
The reigning Canadian junior champions defeated World Curling Tour kingpin Mike McEwen 9-7 on Wednesday for the tournament's first big upset.
"[The trip] was a long haul," Moskowy said. "When you're university students and in juniors, there's not a lot of money floating around, so we decided to drive up."
Moskowy's rink, which finished fourth at the world juniors in Scotland last month, scored two three-enders and also stole a point in upending McEwen, whose Winnipeg team has captured two of the season's three previous Capital One Grand Slam of Curling titles.
"We just tried to go out and have fun, we talked about that before the game," Moskowy said. "It was just a lot of fun."
The youngsters found themselves in the same draw as some of the sport's biggest heavyweights, and Moskowy acknowledged taking in his surroundings.
"You got [Jeff] Stoughton, you got [Kevin] Martin, you got [Kevin] Koe, it's just kind of like … you watch these guys on TV all the time and [you think] 'Work hard and hopefully one day I'll be out there playing with them,"' he said.
"And to be doing it at this age is something pretty special."
Edin doubles Moskowy
Moskowy lost his late draw, falling 6-3 to Sweden's Niklas Edin.
The world bronze medallists from Karlstad advanced to one of the men's A finals in the triple-knockout competition and will battle the winner of Thursday's match between Edmonton's Kevin Koe and Winnipeg's Jeff Stoughton.
In other men's play, Glenn Howard of Coldwater, Ont., advanced to an A-final with wins over Calgary's Brock Virtue and Regina's Pat Simmons. Howard will play the winner of a match between Edmonton's Kevin Martin and Rob Fowler of Brandon, Man., Thursday.
In women's play, Calgary's Cheryl Bernard defeated city rival Shannon Kleibrink 4-2 scoreand will meet Krista McCarville's rink from Thunder Bay, Ont., in one of Thursday's A-finals. McCarville's team is being skipped by Calgary's Crystal Webster.
An all-Winnipeg battle in the other A-qualifier features Jennifer Jones against Chelsea Carey. Both squads have won Capital One Grand Slam tournaments this season and Carey took an undefeated record into the Manitoba women's provincial final before losing to Jones's ex-third, Cathy Overton-Clapham.
Jones defeated four-time world junior champion Eve Muirhead of Scotland 7-4 Wednesday after edging Sweden's Anna Hasselborg in Tuesday's opening draw.
"We're going to have to play well and it's still a long week," said Jones. "We had a couple of misses that we'd like to have back but we definitely played better [than on Tuesday]."
Hasselborg dropped to the C-side on Wednesday with a lopsided 8-2 loss to Ottawa's Rachel Homan. The game was a rematch of the 2010 world junior final, in which Hasselborg upset Homan to capture gold.
The fourth and final championship in the Capital One Grand Slam of Curling series features 16 women's and 16 men's teams battling for the Players' Championship trophies, $100,000 in prize money in each division, and another $170,000 for the Capital One Cup.